By Jennifer Thibault
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
For the first time since the Schriever Child Development Center opened its doors in 2002, it is raising its rates to comply with the Department of Defense school year 2010-2011 child care fee policy.
The Defense Department expanded the number of child care fee categories from six to nine, raised the income gap on each fee range, and established the top range at $125,000 a year and above for a more equitable policy, according to the department’s release.
“These new rates reflect a more accurate fee that incorporates inflation, salary increases for both the patrons and staff as well as increases in operating costs,” said Toni Hansen, Airman and Family Services Flight Chief.
The last time the DoD raised rates six years ago, 26 percent of Air Force families were in the then highest category, category six. In the FY 10 study, that number rose to more than 50 percent.
“The study showed a need to stratify category six. With the previous fee policy, two technical sergeants were paying the same rate as two colonels,” said Ms. Hansen. “The expanded categories allow for a more equitable fee structure.”
The majority of Schriever families were in category six, with the associated weekly fee of $115. These families will now pay from $130 to $139 per week depending on their total household income.
The new fees were approved by the Nonappropriated Fund Council Aug. 31.
“The largest increases were in the new top three income categories, while the DoD standards have allowed us to maintain our current rates in the lower three income categories. The fees will still be well below the local off-base rates and will still ensure we provide a quality program,” said Col. Edward Baron, NAF Council Chair and 50th Mission Support Group commander, in a letter to parents Sept. 1.
These fees are for the CDC children. The school age program, as well as the summer camp program, will also adjust their rates to meet the new guidelines; however their rates depend on the program and hours available for care.
“We are committed to continuing to provide exceptional child care to the children of Schriever AFB families” said Ms. Hansen. “Both the CDC and SAP received outstanding ratings during the unannounced AF certification inspection in March 2010, and the CDC is pursuing accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children, which will only validate the quality of the program.”
Another change with this policy is that the Air Force will begin offering multiple-child discounts.
“Air Force families will now receive multiple-child discounts of 10 percent per child for each additional child they have in the CDC and/or school age program,” said Ms. Hansen.
In order to determine what rates families will pay for all of the available programs, parents will sign up for a reregistration appointment the week of Sept. 13. During this appointment, the CDC staff will reaccomplish the necessary paperwork and determine the appropriate category and fee the family will pay.
The DoD policy goes into effect Sept. 30 however due to that falling on a Thursday, Schriever parents will begin paying the new fees Oct. 4.